Theater challenges audiences by blending the real and the imaginary, much like a neighbor who accuses you of giving her goiters with your brain. Enhance reality with this GrouponLive deal to see Pink Banana Theatre Co.’s production of The Hothouse by Harold Pinter. All performances take place at the Arcade Theatre in the Underground Collaborative, located in the lower level of the Plankinton Arcade building in the Grand Avenue mall. Available performance dates are November 1–3, 5, 8–10, or 15–17. All shows start at 7:30 p.m., and doors open at 6:30 p.m. Choose between the following options:
- For $15, you get two general-admission tickets (a $30 value).
- For $25, you get four general-admission tickets (a $60 value).
With a contagious “let’s put on a show” spirit, Pink Banana Theatre Co. kicks up stage dust twice a year with productions of new and esteemed works performed by local thespians. This fall, the collective treats and taunts Milwaukee with Nobel Prize–winning playwright Harold Pinter’s The Hothouse.
Best known for heady and bewildering dramas such as The Birthday Party and Betrayal, Pinter’s onyx satire The Hothouse is one of his most rarely staged works. The long-gestating play was written in 1958 but never seen until 1980, when it earned critical raves from Time, the New York Times, and Newsweek, who praised it as “wild, impudent, [and] fiercely funny.” In Pink Banana Theatre Co.’s production, the intimate stage of the Arcade Theatre transforms into a government rest home for the mentally unstable. Returning Pink Banana player Jim Huston feasts upon the juicy central character of Colonel Roote, a sinister bully who delights in abusing his fellow residents as he descends into madness himself. Local favorite Tim Palecek portrays Roote’s staunch chief assistant Gibbs, Ellen Dunphy plays a cunning mistress to them both, and Rob Maas takes on the role of an ill-fated alcoholic subordinate fittingly named Lush. After one patient is murdered and another defiled, the salty Roote sends Gibbs on a wild goose chase to find the assailant. From there, the story snowballs into mania, violence, and pitch-black humor as Pinter’s frisky and elaborate word games illuminate mankind’s devolution and evil’s triumph.